** out of ****
The trailer gives away pretty much everything from Year One. As with many comedies nowadays, the previews for the film give away the funniest parts of the movie and leave little else for you to feast on. Despite there being a joke every five seconds or so, the film doesn't rack up many laughs, but honestly, what more did you expect?
The premise of the film is putting characters who act like modern people in prehistoric times. Hence, the presence of Jack Black as loser caveman hunter Zed and Michael Cera as loser caveman gatherer Oh. The opening of the film establishes that these guys are losers who can't get women or even dinner, and are quickly kicked out of the tribe. They go over the mountains, farther than any caveman's ever traveled before, and have many adventures based on stories ripped from the Bible. The inane plot involves Cane murdering his brother Abel (a humorous scene with David Cross as villain and Paul Rudd as victim); trying to save their crushes from slavery; meeting Abraham, played with unfunny gusto by Hank Azaria, who wants to cut off their foreskins; and ultimately trying to dethrone an evil king, played by Xander Berkeley. There's a couple gross-out scenes involving rubbing body oil on a fat man, urine, and- what else- sex. Even the prescence of funny performers Oliver Platt as a High Priest and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (forever McLovin) as Abraham's son Isaac can't liven the mood much, and only add scarce laughs to the proceedings. Worst of all, Black hogs the screen so much that Cera seems kind of an afterthought, too shy and quiet to say very much around Black's rantings and ravings and wild arm-waving.
Year One is typical summer fare, no heart at all, but it does offer minimal entertainment, which is exactly what the people who see the movie demand.
I would recommend this film to fans of Black and anyone who got a kick out of the trailer.
You can watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTNBwIAY9Zo